A unicorn is a legendary animal with a large, spiraling horn protruding from its forehead. In folklore, it is always white but can look like a horse or a goat. This wild, woodland creature was a symbol of purity and grace and could only be captured by a virgin.
A mercat cross is the market cross which be found in many Scottish towns, cities and villages. The cross is a symbol of the right to hold a regular market or fair which was granted by the monarch, a bishop or a baron. It indicated a burgh’s relative prosperity and marked the settlement’s focal point. In many cases, these crosses are topped with the Royal Unicorn.
There are more crosses with the Royal Unicorn, but these are a few.
Aberdeen Mercat Cross:
Edinburgh Mercat Cross:
Glasgow Mercat Cross:
And to end my post, here are the Irish Rovers to sing you out…
Come on Tour with Sophie and Dan… Visit where the story began: Edinburgh – Sophie’s Run Blogtour 2013
Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…
Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even? Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.
So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet. But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy. Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful. A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.
Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change. Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.
Hi, Melanie! *waves* Whoop, the day is finally here. I know you were super excited about hosting this feature today, given your own love for all things Scottish. *happy dance*
But I’m getting carried away already. Sorry, you must forgive me. I’m just so over the moon to be here; thank you for having me! Perhaps, though, I should introduce myself properly to your readers. *clears throat*
Hello, you! My name is Sophie Penhalligan and I am the heroine in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy by Nicky Wells. I’ve been on this blog before and you might have stumbled across me then but in case we’re new acquaintances: it’s very nice to meet you! *waves again*
Today, Melanie is helping us celebrate the launch of Book 2, Sophie’s Run. ‘Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…’ Detour, indeed. My goodness, it’s been a rollercoaster ride and I can’t wait to share it all with you. In the meantime, however, I’d like to take you on tour. More specifically, I’d like to take you to the place where the story began, many years ago.
The train pulled into Edinburgh Waverley station and I panicked. What on earth was I doing? I lowered the window, awkwardly fumbling outside to reach the door handle, and let myself off the train. I was traveling light. My tiny rucksack carried only my purse and the barest of overnight essentials. I wasn’t planning to stay the night, really. But what was I planning? What had I been thinking when I got on that train, going after four blokes ten years older than my humble nineteen years? Well, in truth, I was only interested in one of them, but even that was a completely one-sided matter at this time.
It was five o’clock in the afternoon, and I had about two hours or so to get to wherever I needed to go. But, of course, I still needed to find out where they were playing tonight… (Excerpt from Sophie’s Turn)
If you’ve read the first book, you’ll know that I did meet my favorite rock band, Tuscq, that night and that I nearly got very up-close-and-personal with Dan Hunter, the lead singer. Nearly! Later on in the story, Dan and I go back to Edinburgh and it’s very romantic. Somehow, fate seems to draw me back to this amazing city, and I get to visit again in Sophie’s Run, if only in passing this time:
The train journey to Edinburgh was relatively uneventful. However, halfway across the country, the sunshine vanished and grey skies loomed.
Trying to lighten the atmosphere, I declared loudly and brightly, “Never fear, the weather is meant to be really changeable in these parts, I’m sure it’ll be fine and sunny tomorrow.”
“Och, it’s a wee bit o’ Scotch mist, lassie,” a passing passenger chipped in. “It winna fash ye. The thing to watch oot for is the midges, they’re fair ferocious this time o’ year.”
I didn’t have a clue what he had said, but I was too embarrassed to show myself up as a total Sassenach so I smiled apologetically and shrugged.(Excerpt from Sophie’s Run)
Uh-huh, another train journey to Edinburgh. I believe this is quite a deliberate echo of the first book, but you’ll have to read for yourself to find out who I’m going with this time and why. ☺ For now, I’d like to show you some of my favorite vistas and hang outs. You ready?
First of all, Princes Street. I’ll never forget walking down there on the way to that fateful gig… I’m standing on the corner looking down into Lothian Road (see photo), absorbing the atmosphere and barely containing my excitement at seeing Tuscq very soon.
And here’s the Castle at Night! I’m still on Princes Street on the corner with Hanover Street, just looking in a different direction. Isn’t it amazing?
Of course, I did see some of Edinburgh by day, too. Not on my first visit, but the second time round. I checked out the Tollcross…
…and the old town! Take a look at Goose Pie House in Ramsay Gardens…
One final, panoramic look at the Castle and Waverley Station…
*sighs* Ah, so many memories. What a fabulous city. Have you ever been? Well, if you do go, or if you’re just dreaming about it, don’t forget to take me with you, and Sophie’s Run! Thank you for joining me on my trip today and… rock on!
Wait, wait, wait, there’s more: Introducing the Sophie’s Run Give Away!
Sophie’s Run GIVEAWAYS
1) Standard Giveaway
Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!
The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in your country. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wells reserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at her discretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shipping purposes.
Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to email@example.com and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.
About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!
Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door. A signed author with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.
Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.
I’ve been rather quiet here at Celtic Connexions since posting about going to my first live curling event.
If you follow the Goodreads widgets on my sidebar, you’ll see I’ve spent a lot of time in this young year with my face stuck in books. Crime fiction, short stories, YA, and true crime. And I’ve currently got my face stuck in another book of crime fiction.
Yeah, I know, if I’m doing all this reading, I’m not getting any writing done. You’re right, but in order to be a good writer, one has to read and read lots.
The crime fiction I’ve read and am reading could almost be classed as research. I can see you shaking your heads and wondering if I’ve gone completely doolally. Well, peeps, I haven’t. You see, the authors of this genre I’ve been reading are both Scottish authors – Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride.
While reading about places in Scotland isn’t quite the same as being there, I have been to Edinburgh where Ian sets his novels
and Aberdeen, the home of Stuart’s. Reading their books brings the sights, sounds and smells back to me. And I’ve discovered a few things along the way that I didn’t know before. See why I say my reading could almost be classed as research?
What will the next book on my TBR pile to move onto my currently reading list? Any suggestions?
What authors/genres do you like to read? Leave a comment and tell me.
My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King